HYDERABAD: A title deed is a crucial document needed to carry out any sort of transaction relating to the property. If such a key document is misplaced by a bank with which it is mortgaged, it might cause a financial loss. For such negligence, the Union Bank of India was directed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) to pay a consumer Rs 5 lakh for the monetary loss, Rs 50,000 for non-return of documents and Rs 5,000 for causing mental agony.
A city resident, P.Srinivasulu, had taken the loan from the bank in 2006 and approached the bank in 2013 to close his housing loan account in order to sell the house. Believing that the property document was in the safe custody of the bank, Srinivasulu entered into an agreement with a buyer to sell his flat for Rs 32 lakh. But to his disbelief, the documents were not traced and the bank admitted that the title deed of the property was misplaced.
In the absence of the title deed, Srinivasulu had to lower the sale price of his flat to Rs 25 lakh and was asked by the prospective buyer to get a copy of police FIR and a certificate from the bank that the documents were misplaced. But the bank did not issue the certificates as sought by Srinivasulu in time. However, he sold the flat for Rs 25 lakh, thereby losing Rs 7 lakh which he could have got had the bank given him the title deed.
The bank told the commission that some documents could not be produced due to some delay and argued that the complainant was not entitled to any relief. But the SCDRC said banks are used by people for security purpose and after keeping documents of mortgaged title deeds, it was their bounden duty to give them back. Besides directing the bank to pay Rs 5.55 lakh, the SCDRC said that original title deed had to be returned or a duplicate title deed be issued to the complainant.